Collective regulation of wages and conditions in aged care: Beyond labour law

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Industrial Relations, 2012, 54 (2), pp. 204 - 220
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This article considers the collective regulation of wages and conditions in the highly feminized residential aged care workforce. It argues that the traditional regulation of wages and conditions through industrial instruments such as awards and collective bargaining agreements has failed to produce adequate or sustainable outcomes. Continuing low pay is exacerbating labour supply issues in a sector set to experience exponential growth in the coming decades. The ability of traditional labour law to deliver optimal outcomes for aged care workers is limited not only by low levels of collective representation, but also by funding constraints within the sector. This article explores regulatory alternatives and suggests that the integration of labour standards and outcomes into the existing accreditation standards and funding mechanisms for residential aged care warrants policymakers' attention. © Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA).
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